I think so. Please check me on this.

I asked "Is quoting an authoritative source a useful or effective way to demonstrate that an assertion is sensible, reasonable or wise?"

You guys judged: "put on hold as primarily opinion-based"

Obviously, I don't think so...what about this - is that an opinion?

You have highlighted exactly what I just wrote to @PhilipKlocking: It's impracticable to discuss philosophy while ignoring the relevance of subjective interpretations as well as objective definitions.

Are you guys familiar with psychology at all I wonder? If not, please check this: bias and control

I have no intention of being antagonistic, disrespectful or accusatory. I just want to work with people in ways that work as optimally as we can manage. I do admit that I'm tiring of arguing about this...

Speaking of ed psych, there's this, which you might consider relevant (or perhaps not...):

The ideal critical thinker is habitually inquisitive, well-informed, trustful of reason, open-minded, flexible, fairminded in evaluation, honest in facing personal biases, prudent in making judgments, willing to reconsider … diligent in seeking relevant information, reasonable in the selection of criteria, focused in inquiry, and persistent in seeking results which are as precise as the subject and the circumstances of inquiry permit. Thus, educating good critical thinkers means working toward this ideal” Facione, 1990, p. 2.

I appreciate the wok that you do, while deploring the restrictions which have been imposed.

Respectfully, with thanks for your attention. Mike

  • 3
    May I suggest a place that is more suitable for discussing philosophy? You can try /r/philosophy
    – E...
    Apr 16, 2019 at 21:58
  • 1
    i upvoted. i don't think the question about authority is opinion based. my problem with the site, still, is that -- a misconstrual of what is on-topic as well as what makes sense to a philosopher. however, i prefer it to reddit, and find the dogmatic insistence we don't "discuss" things here silly
    – user38026
    Apr 16, 2019 at 23:33

2 Answers 2


Your question is not constructive. It's not clear what you're really asking about, or what direction answers should take. You could be talking about any of these:

  • the fallacy of appealing to authority
  • philosophical pedagogy and the effectiveness of learning historical philosophy
  • the challenges new thinkers have generally in being heard, understood, and evaluated against the greats of philosophy over the ages
  • rationality or reasonableness being illegitimately equated with sensibleness and wisdom
  • a perceived lack of critical thinking on the part of some users
  • the site's specific conventions and their effectiveness of shaping productive Q&As
    • the extent to which answers should be self contained, explaining in full their arguments, versus sign posts to further reading
    • the way that some users post an option as if it were the only option, and that explicit statements saying so would be better
  • i know you are!
    – user38026
    Apr 16, 2019 at 23:36
  • @another_name Well new users often post things on main that should be posted on meta, which was part of what I'm showing here. One sentence isn't enough to know the intention and therefore know which site is right. Apr 16, 2019 at 23:36
  • i just mean that you can ignore points 5-8 because the question was not posted on meta. points 1-4 are overlapping, so it should come as no surprise that they may be relevant to one question. perhaps the question should have been closed for being too broad, instead, and we could have avoided the meltdown
    – user38026
    Apr 16, 2019 at 23:39
  • @another_name Right, but points 5-8 are still worth considering, because the OP could have meant one of them but just posted on the wrong site (and we can't know without them explaining more). Yes, too broad probably would've been a better close reason. Apr 16, 2019 at 23:43
  • 1
    agreed more or less then. i really think people should be more careful on their vote to close reasons cos it confuses new users and makes editing questions more difficult also. thanks!
    – user38026
    Apr 16, 2019 at 23:44
  • I greatly appreciate the supportive comments.
    – Rortian
    Apr 17, 2019 at 0:10
  • "You could be talking about any of these"..ummm, or perhaps all of the above?...Is that … wrong?..."too broad probably would've been a better close reason"...I see. Gee that's horrible! To think that I might have many reasonable suspicions and counterarguments...that might be too fearful to contemplate, I suppose...oops lapsed into psychology, I sometimes get confused, the price to pay for working on interdisciplinary issues. Another horrible sin, I suppose...Does intention count for anything...or perhaps everything? Meaning and intentions aren't completely distinct, are they?
    – Rortian
    Apr 17, 2019 at 0:14

Questions (it seems) attract negative votes less on the basis of the question (that it isn't a philosopher's question, unclear what the question is) than what is involved in answering it (answers that aren't philosophy, unclear how to answer). I claim this because I can provide a vast quantity of clearly expressed questions about philosophy (especially by me, less by others as I read few downvoted questions) that are closed for being off-topic or unclear.

So point proven then, unless the voting patterns for me are normal.

One has to get used to that feature of the site.

In this instance, you could end up getting such a cluster of different answers that it misses the remit of the site, which is not thinking philosophically, but a Q and A thing. So it's too broad, even if that wouldn't end up degenerating into opinion or incoherence.

  • another downvote on this meta opinion. i am not convinced that the voter, in question, understands their own behaviour, that of the site, or even how to understand simple expressions
    – user38026
    Apr 17, 2019 at 3:52

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